Friday, July 23, 2010

Like a Bad Penny, I'm Back Again

Yeah, you can send me to the Amazon for a couple of months but I'll still get back with you all sooner or later. Today is later but the best I can do because I just don't do computers while in Peru. Or Mexico. Or anywhere else outside my own home. Just don't like the feel. Here I'm sitting at my own desk, drinking my own coffee, smoking my cancer sticks and that's how I like to do computer work. Out there, in Iquitos, I'm either gearing up for going to the jungle or gearing down coming from it.
Nuff of that nonsense. Hello. Hope a few of you are still here. The trip? Fantastic! I had Madeleina with me and she had not been to Peru or the jungle since she was a little girl, maybe eight years ago when she was five. She remembered nothing but found it all sort of familiar and wonderful. The motorcars, the fact that we had no running water in the hotel (bucket over the head showers only), my team, our old house, the food, the riverboats....she was screaming with joy every five minutes for the first two weeks. "Hey dad! Look at that!!! Just look at that!" she would scream at ear piercing volume while looking at someone carrying a monkey on their shoulder or watching the stiltwalkers on the boulevard. And forget about screaming while in the jungle. She was on overdrive the entire time we were out in the thick green. At the same time she was an amazing asset. Just amazing. She got the guests--two groups of fantastic people--to laugh just by being so full of joy. If I could have had her on every damned trip I ever did I probably wouldn't have had a couple of tough ones where the people just hated me.
And at the same time, because she was with me, I was on pretty good behavior. I'm always on the mark when it's time to work, but sometimes in the city I tend to let off steam by getting drunk. It's generally good fun but the guests don't always see it that way. So this time I pretty much stayed to the straight and narrow. I was nursing drinks instead of drinking them and that was a good thing. Not as much fun, of course, but I wanted her proud of me, not angry with me. And I think she was.
Did manage to pick up a roaring staph infection in my lower legs on the last day of the last trip that still has me battling for my health. But that's to be expected. Part of my job is to be a sort of sin eater. The medicine gets the guests to let go of their anger, hurts, pain, and my crew and I are good at gathering up the etheric spirit of all that garbage and getting put into a place where it won't hurt anyone else, but a little always gets through the gaps. My job is to ask the powers to be to make sure that if something is going to go wrong that it goes wrong with me, not the guests. And the powers that be have always obliged, whether it's the exploding intestine, the flesh eating spider bite, the broken ankle or any of the other amazing horrors I've been afflicted with. And this time it was the sudden appearance of more than a dozen two-inch long red staph streaks on my ankles and calves that took about a day and a half to combine into a three inch square that burst open with goup and rotting flesh. I got several antibiotic injections in my butt in Iquitos that stemmed the tide a little, and Lady, Julio's daughter and a key member of my team eliminated much of the attendant swelling--massive swelling of feet, ankles, calves and knees--with traditional medicines. So it's getting better, though two weeks into it I still hurt madly and have no energy.
The swelling was so bad that Madeleina was afraid I would start to simply split the skin. To keep her calm about it I began singing:
Kankles and kees, kankles and kees, used to have ankles and used to have knees, but now I have kankles and now I have kees.
She loved that song and it worked to let her know that I wasn't really afraid of the doctor saying he might have to cut my legs off at the knees...though I didn't like that possibility at all. And it wasn't going to happen. But boy, there were a couple of pretty touch and go days when my body and I had to fight furiously to contain that infection rather than allowing it to spread.
So that's that.
Chepa, the wife/ex-wife, came down four days before I split to come home and Madeleina stayed on with her. We had a great time in the place where we committed our gravest sins and I was very happy to get that pain behind us. We have not been in Iquitos together since we busted up for good and it was important to be there together, even if just for a few days.
There is lots to write about but that's enough for now. Thanks for listening.


The Grudge said...

Glad to hear your back! I look forward to you writing about the trip. It sounds like the trip was very successful minus the staph infection. Get well soon.

Kuchinta said...

Welcome back, Peter! You hsve been missed :)
Wish you a complete recovery from the staph infection.
And congratulations for winning the awards! You done good, sir :)

daisyduke said...

sometimes you can pawn off the bad pennies here and there...the old friends you never can. I was about to say welcome home, but is it home, really; or did you leave your home to return to us?
either way...beinvenido